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portrait of a pretty gourmande (in 1825)

As described by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in his seminal The Physiology of Taste, originally published in 1825:

Gourmandism is far from unbecoming to the ladies: it agrees with the delicacy of their organs, and acts as compensation for certain pleasures which they must deny themselves, and certain ills to which nature seems to have condemned them. 

Nothing is more agreeable to look at than a pretty gourmande in full-battle dress: her napkin is tucked in most sensibly; one of her hands lies on the table, the other carries elegantly carved little morsels to her mouth, or perhaps a partridge wing on which she nibbles; her eyes shine, her lips are soft and moist, her conversation is pleasant, and all her gestures are full of grace; she does not hide that vein of coquetry which women show in everything they do. With so much in her favor, she is utterly irresistible, and Cato the Censor himself would be moved by her. 

Emily KochmanComment